Drive to Ipoh

14th May 2023

Spend a bit of time yesterday evening packing for today’s trip to Ipoh, not that there was that much to do other than repack some laundry.

Set off about 8am with Mary driving, it actually rained quite a bit while she was driving, we stopped for toilet breaks, food and petrol on the way, I took over driving about half way. Except for the very last few kms it was all Tollway driving  and pretty easy.

We passed Ipoh as the hotel was on the south side of town so it was easier to drive past and come back to it rather than drive in the town traffic.

We were far too early to check in to the hotel anyway so had planned a side trip to Gua Kek Lok Tong. Gua means “cave” in Bahasa Malaysia. It appeared to be a very popular destination with both Muslims and Buddhists alike.

Gua Kek Lok TongGua Kek Lok TongGua Kek Lok TongGua Kek Lok Tong Gua Kek Lok TongGua Kek Lok TongGua Kek Lok TongGua Kek Lok TongGua Kek Lok TongGua Kek Lok TongGua Kek Lok TongGua Kek Lok TongGua Kek Lok TongGua Kek Lok TongGua Kek Lok TongGua Kek Lok TongGua Kek Lok Tong

After the visit to the cave I drove to the hotel in Ipoh, To be honest I have tried to avoid driving on local or town roads because their style of driving is quite different to what I am used to but it turned out OK and we found the hotel quite  easily and were able to check in straight away.

That evening we walked to Tong Sui Kai for a evening meal, after getting lost many times and ending up exhausting ourselves we finally found the place and enjoyed a really good meal. It was actually quite close to the hotel but we saw a lot of Ipoh night life as we wandered aimlessly around.

Curried Pork Noodles

Notice the fork stuck in the bowl, it’s as if they didn’t think I couldn’t use chop sticks.

ABC IceCurried Chicken NoodlesTong Sui Kai Ipoh Tong Sui Kai Ipoh

It was a really good meal but too much for us we should have ordered one bowl between us. We wandered back to the hotel very full and tired.

Wat Sukkhavutthalai

12th May 2023

Not a busy day, spend most of  it recovering from yesterday’s journey.

Lunch was a pork rice and sausages from a local store. Actually not bad.

By the late afternoon had recovered enough to go for  drive to a nearby newly renovated temple. We thought there might also be food available.

The temple was founded by Dato Chem, who is the only Malaysian to receive Buddhist relics from King Rama IX of Thailand.

Ke Sukkhavutthalai Jitra MalaysiaKe Sukkhavutthalai Jitra MalaysiaKe Sukkhavutthalai Jitra MalaysiaKe Sukkhavutthalai Jitra MalaysiaKe Sukkhavutthalai Jitra MalaysiaKe Sukkhavutthalai Jitra MalaysiaKe Sukkhavutthalai Jitra MalaysiaKe Sukkhavutthalai Jitra MalaysiaKe Sukkhavutthalai Jitra MalaysiaKe Sukkhavutthalai Jitra Malaysia

For dinner it was one of my favourites – Char Kuey Teow – it turned out that the temple only had steamboat which was far too much for our appetite so we stopped on the way home for a takeaway.

Char Kuey Teow

Three Weeks in Malaysia

10th May 2023

A night flight so I caught the train from Wollongong after 5pm for the airport. I was surprised how full the train was, I suppose it was mostly people going home after work but there were a few with suitcases like me.

Changed trains for the airport at Wolli Creek with no hassle, only waited a few minutes for a train to take me the one stop to the International Terminal.

The counters for Malaysian Airlines were already open and operating when I arrived so I just joined the inevitable queue. When I finally arrived at the check in the girl put my suitcase through to Alor Setar and issued a boarding pass for the domestic flight so I didn’t have to worry about it at KL.

Boarding Pass

Went straight into Security and Passport Control where I was told to go into the queue for those needing assistance (??) That made everything pretty easy so then it was just a matter of waiting for the flight to be called.

All went well and the flight left a little late but not outrageously so. The flight was half empty so I moved to an empty pair of seats for a reasonably comfortable journey – not as lucky as some, they got all four of the seats in the centre.

The evening meal was just a sandwich and a beer (more than enough at that time of night).

11th May 2023

Slept sporadically until the lights came on at about 5am (Sydney time) and a meal was served – more than just a breakfast, Prawn Nasi Goreng, yogurt, fruit salad, roll and a drink.

The plane landed in KL about half an hour early. The little train that used to shuttle passengers between terminal C and the main building wasn’t working so passengers were transferred in  busses. I think one of the advantages of these smaller planes they use now is that there just aren’t the swarms of people trying to get anywhere.

Because I didn’t have a bag to collect I soon got through customs and immigration however I wasn’t in a rush because there was nearly 12 hours to wait for my domestic flight.

Killed time in the airport arrivals hall before making my way to level 5 for the domestic departure hall. While I was in the arrivals hall changed $100 into Malaysian ringgit – naturally the exchange rate was a rip off in the way only airports can manage – 2.67 Ringgit to the Aussie dollar.

As soon as I was in the domestic departure lounge found a quiet corner with lots of vacant chairs where I spread myself out and slept for a few hours until lunch time.

After a fairly good sleep I was hungry but there was plenty of choice for lunch but eventually went with  a Nasi Lemak and a cappuccino at the Noooodles Restaurant – Rm36 but can’t complain really, it is an airport – they all do it.

Nasi Lemak

After lunch wandered about, went to the observation lounge, watched them setting up for some impressive looking promotion later in the evening and even bought a coffee which costa more than it costa in Sydney.

Airport Coffee

This was followed by more sleeping, it was a very long day!


The flight to Alor Setar did eventually get called, it left half an hour late “due to service difficulties” but it is only an hour flight and you get a packet of peanuts to tide you over. This plane was full!

Possibly because it was so late, at the Alor Setar airport we had to use the stairs from the plane and walk across the tarmac, it is a surprisingly long walk to the arrival/baggage hall but after collecting my bag I, and a couple of others, had to go through a customs check, no complaints, they were very nice about it but I have never had to do that before.

Anyway at last I had arrived, it had been a very long day, I was glad to get out of the airport and the drive to Jitra.